Earlier today a delegation of Warwick For Free Education activists met with the academic registrar, Michael Glover, and the head of security, Mark Kennell, following an email request by us to organise a meeting.
We felt this could have been an excellent opportunity to engage in productive dialogue with the university, as we have seen happen at Sheffield, Lancaster and UWE universities in the last week. As soon as we arrived, however, it was absolutely clear that the University had no intention of negotiating, and instead were committed to continuing their assault on the rights of students to protest and voice their concerns with the way the university is run.
The activists were appalled to learn that the University was not even willing to condemn the disproportionate use of violence against students last Wednesday, an incident that has been denounced by not only thousands of members of the global community, but also by Amnesty International, the most established human rights organisation in the world.
The academic registrar affirmed that the only options open to us to express our opinions are via the “democratic” procedures linked with the SU, and that occupations are both invalid and pointless methods of protest. We politely reminded him that this University has a rich history of inspiring and successful occupations which have achieved incredible things, including the construction of a designated SU building which he was so strongly promoting. So with all due respect, Mike, we absolutely refute your claims.
So it seems they’re still going ahead with the injunction, and the court date and time is this Friday at 2pm. Until that time, we proudly announce that the occupied space will remain a Free University; organised, run and enjoyed by students and for students. On Thursday afternoon we will be hosting some brilliant speakers, running workshops and throwing a party which we encourage as many people as possible to attend. Details to be released soon. Come and see what a university community really looks like.
Love and solidarity,
Warwick for Free Education